Reasons for Crying

All babies cry and some babies cry a lot. Crying is your baby’s only way of telling you that something is wrong – it’s how they communicate. You should always respond when a newborn cries and, with time, you will begin to decode their language and work out why your baby is crying.

Checklist for Crying

Babies cry for lots of reasons, but usually it is because they want something. In any given day, the average newborn cries for two to three hours.

It might be because your newborn:

  • is hungry
  • is wet or has a dirty nappy
  • has wind
  • has colic
  • is hot or cold
  • is frightened by their new environment
  • doesn’t like bright lights or loud noises
  • is uncomfortable – perhaps baby’s clothes are too tight
  • is over tired or over stimulated
  • Is bored, lonely, or
  • wants to play

If you think your baby might be ill, contact your doctor, midwife or public health nurse.


How to Comfort your Baby

The easiest way to stop a baby crying is to give them what they need. You can’t spoil a new baby.

To console a crying baby:

  • Take care of physical problems first – hunger, clean nappy, wind.
  • Pick them up and hold them close to your chest
  • Walk with your baby in a sling or in a stroller.
  • Rock your baby in a rhythmic, gentle motion.
  • Talk, sing or distract them.
  • Gently pat or stroke on the back or chest.
  • Bring your baby for a ride in the car or even a walk for a change of scene.
  • Try some light baby message
  • Turn on some white noise (such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner).